Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants in Thursday preseason battle

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants in Thursday preseason battle

The Giants selected Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 National Football League draft. And he'll do it against a Giants team that's got a new coach in Pat Shurmur, a familiar leader in Eli Manning and a rousing crew of weapons headlined by Barkley, who'll get his first opportunity to own the Giants' backfield in East Rutherford. An early star of HBO's Cleveland edition of "Hard Knocks", he'll have his first live-game shot at flashing his No. 1-caliber athleticism. In two drives, Taylor went 5-of-5 for 99 yards, including a 36-yard TD down the seam to TE David Njoku (more on him shortly), for a ideal passer rating (158.3). That side of the debate could claim vindication after 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb completed 9-of-22 passes for 70 yards in a dismal performance.

The second of those scampers - a 5-yard, red-zone dash on fourth-and-2 - set up Mayfield's 10-yard touchdown toss to David Njoku.

The Browns let Mayfield play into the fourth quarter after he entered in the second. He received a ton of work in six series and looked, well, mostly like the big-play magician who won the Heisman trophy past year.


Mayfield's final numbers (11-of-20 passing, 212 yards, 10.6 yards per attempt, two TDs, 125.4 rating, one sack) were nothing resembling those of a raw rookie trying to transition from college spread to pro-style, albeit against Giants backups playing vanilla schemes. Then, Cleveland fans got to see the debut of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.

It's only one preseason game, but there were plenty of reasons to be hopeful.

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